Monday, June 09, 2008

Yes, I'm the Butt of the Joke

He is nine now. This happened when he was four.

It wasn't something he said, not this time. We were standing in line at The Evil Hamburger place, hereafter known as McDonalds. I was hungry and tired, and had three kids in tow who were also hungry and tired. The line was moving at a snail's pace, the cashier wasn't moving at all. We waited. My one year old was in the sling, squirmy and awake. She wanted my attention. My 8 year old was trying to be on her best behavior, but she had grown weary of the hold up. She wanted to eat. Now. Even if it was McDonalds.

My son has autism. He has no mouth filter. He makes rash decisions. Bored and with nothing to do, he struck up a conversation with the man in front of us. I eyed the stranger warily. The conversation started the way they always did: "Do you like Indiana Jones? I have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, it's a good movie, did you like it?" The man agreed, it was a good movie and that Indy was cool and yes, his hat was cool and yes, son's hat was cool, too. I breathed a little, so far, there hadn't been anything out of ordinary. That was about to change.

My son was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, but not until the end of Kindergarten. At this point, he was just "quirky." The line moved up, just a little. Still two people were in front of me. Was this ever going to end? We needed Chicken McNuggets! Some fairly loud and boisterous construction workers joined the line, which was now fairly long. We waited some more as the guy in front of us was ordering.

I tend to start up conversations in line with random strangers. It seems to be the curse of my semi-extroverted personality. I say semi-extroverted because when I am home alone, I revel in my aloneness. But when I am out, I will actually talk to other people. The introverts in my house don't understand it. Luckily, my son is an absolute extrovert and likes to talk to people. People don''t always like to listen, however. The burly construction guy asked how old my kids were, and here it comes the requisite, "You certainly have your hands full," along with my stock answer: "Yes, and my heart is full as well." About this time, my son decided to horn in on the conversation. Being polite, Mr. Big & Burly Construction Guy turrned and asked him his name. I have no idea what possessed my son. To this day, he still doesn't know.

We are standing there, in the middle of a food establishment as loosely defined as McDonalds is food and my son, the fruit of my loins, turned around, pulled his pants down and mooned the entire line of customers! I stood frozen in shock while the construction crew guffawed loudly. That was when, the voice of sanity spoke up. It was my daughter, wise beyond her years. "He is SO mortifying!" said she. Why yes. Yes, he is.

T, who remembers it well

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3 sent chocolate:

Anonymous said...

hilarious story! i spent the last year as a teachers asst working with a 2nd grader in a general ed class with aspergers...we had a great relationship and often cracked me up!

Toni said...

I am laughing out loud. That is a great story for the reader. I am sure you weren't thinking so at the time!

It sounds like you little man knew that there was some boredom and impatience going on in that long line!

witchypoo said...

My high functioning autistic son has caused me many strange moments in the general public. The best one was when I wasn't there. He peed in the toilet on display at Sears. So proud.

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